Starting a business is a seductive magnet for many people. The allure of being your own boss and setting your own hours can be very appealing. It promises a life full of rewards, wealth, and success for you and your family.
However, the reality is far from what you've dreamed of or been promised. Sadly, less than 30% of businesses last more than ten years, and most failures happen during the first few years of operation.
That's because many would-be business owners don't have a good understanding of what it ACTUALLY takes to be successful. We're here to help. This post will explain what business concepts work for thousands of successful business owners out there.
If you don't lead, no one will follow. And that's very true for businesses. Good business leadership starts with defining both the destination and direction of the company.
For example, simply put, the destination might be to "be the best pet store in town," while the direction is how you're going to get there. Or, the destination might be to "triple our profits within the next three years" with a direction of expanding into new markets.
However, it doesn't stop there. It requires business owners to develop a set of skills speedily and to constantly improve on them as they steer their company in the right direction.
These skills include being realistic, motivational, disciplined, calm under pressure, and able to communicate your vision of success, among others constructively. To put it simply, leadership is something that must be acted, understood, and recognized every day.
One important aspect of leadership is creating a culture in a company that is based on expectations. Plus, rewarding employees for meeting and exceeding those expectations. A good leader ensures that such people aren't only recognized but also receive monetary rewards.
This positive reinforcement and acknowledgment of good work encourage employees to continue putting in the extra effort, which is beneficial to both them and the company. And it helps focus the company on the things that MATTER.
Another aspect is developing a company culture that allows employees to deal with problems constructively. For example, imagine a customer in a fast food restaurant who complains to the server that they aren't satisfied with the meal.
If the business owner has created an appropriate company culture, the server will immediately apologize without hesitation and do whatever is necessary to make it right. Maybe that means getting the customer a new meal or giving them a discount on their next visit.
As a result, the customer will be happy and is likely to come back. Business owners who have created this culture have made it possible to turn a bad situation into a good one, benefiting both the customer and the company.
A few people think that leaders aren't made, but born, which is slightly true. Even so, many leadership aspects can be learned. So, if you're determined to make your business a success, it's crucial that you develop them.
What we mean by ownership control is defining the key tasks that must be completed every day and giving orders as to how those tasks will be handled. If you don't control anything in your business, then you don't own anything. That's a simple truth, and your business won't be running for long.
But ownership control can only be attained through teamwork, wherein processes, products, and employees work in unison. In essence, the employees deliver the products by following the internal procedures of the company, and these processes operate the business.
When a business owner fails to cement these procedures early on, every employee will have their own standards in customer delivery. That means every customer will be handled differently.
It can be a huge problem because an employee could do something that goes against the company policy. Also, inconsistently handling customers could result in a loss of business.
Keep in mind that customer delivery has a series of internal events, including inventory control, reorder, follow-up, and more. If these events are not triggered correctly and consistently, the company won't have the inventory its consumers want and the data to make informed decisions.
However, even if you tell employees how you want things to operate in the company, it won't happen unless proper controls are devised and imposed to ensure employees do what is required.
Protection of the Company's Assets
When you think of a company's priorities, protecting assets isn't typically the first thing that comes to mind. In fact, most business owners consider profits and sales as the most important to their companies.
Well, they are integral, but your business assets are way more important. For example, if your sales decrease, you have time to regroup and find out what went wrong. Then, fix it and make up for the lost sales.
However, if your assets disappear, your company is doomed. Asset destruction is probably the fastest way to lose everything you've built. That's why owners, with the help of their employees, have to secure those assets from being underappreciated, abused, stolen, and mismanaged.
There are intangible and tangible assets in every company. Both have value and must be protected. Intangible assets include things like your business's reputation, employee morale, and customer base.
Tangible assets are physical items like your inventory, equipment, and company vehicles. In addition, your company's data and information are also considered tangible assets.
While you can't put a price tag on intangible assets, they are just as important, if not more so, than tangible assets. After all, a company's reputation is what attracts customers and employees in the first place.
Owners should make proactive efforts to protect their company's assets. Here are a few things you can do:
- Educate your employees about the importance of asset protection and have them sign confidentiality agreements.
- Install security systems to deter thieves and vandals.
- Back up your data regularly in case of a system crash or hacker attack.
- Store inventory in a secure location, like a warehouse with 24-hour security.
Planning for the Future
Planning is not about predicting the future but about preparing for it. For example, suppose you're in the middle of an intersection with vehicles coming at you from all directions, and you're trying to decide which way to go.
You're in danger and need to act quickly, but you can't just pick a random direction and hope for the best. Instead, you need to think about which way is likely to be the safest and decide based on that.
The same is true of planning for your future. Of course, you can't predict what will happen, but you can make educated guesses and prepare for different eventualities.
Successful companies do this all the time. They don't just sit back and wait for things to happen; they try to anticipate potential problems and develop contingency plans. For example, a company might plan to launch a new product, but they also have a backup plan if the product fails.
Most would-be business owners often make the mistake of thinking that they need to have everything figured out before starting to take action. But this is not the case. It's perfectly fine to start planning without knowing all the details.
The important thing is to get started and keep moving forward. The more you plan, the better prepared you'll be for whatever comes your way.
One of the best ways to start planning for your future is to set some goals. But not just any goals, SMART goals. These are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound.
For example, a goal like "I want to be wealthy" is not very helpful because it's not specific or measurable. But a goal like "I want to save $100k by the end of the year" is much better.
Also, business owners need to have both short-term and long-term goals. Short-term goals are things you can achieve in the near future, like launching a new product or opening a new location.
Long-term goals are things you want to achieve in the future, like becoming the market leader in your industry or retiring early. By setting both types of goals, you can keep your business moving forward even when you hit bumps in the road.
Marketing and Advertising
Without marketing and advertising, you have no company because there won't be any sales. They are business realities. Even if you have the best product or service, if nobody knows about it, you're not going to make any money.
The need to get the company's message out there and make potential customers aware of your business never goes away. Only companies that are persistent and relentless in their marketing efforts remain successful.
Marketing and advertising is a process, though, not an event. So you need to constantly evaluate what's working and what's not, making adjustments along the way. And you need to have a plan.
Your digital advertising and marketing strategies should align with your business goals. For example, are you looking to increase brand awareness? Improve your SEO marketing? Drive traffic to your website? Generate leads? Make sales? Once you know what you want to achieve, you can plan your campaigns.
But before you launch any campaigns, there's one more important step: research. First, you need to understand your target audience and figure out where they spend their time online. Only then can you determine the best channels to reach them.
There are a lot of different business marketing and advertising channels to choose from, including paid, organic, and social media. And each one has its strengths and weaknesses. The key is to find the right mix of channels that work for your business.
The most important thing to remember with marketing and advertising is that it's constantly evolving. What works today might not work tomorrow. So it would help if you were prepared to change your strategy on the fly and always test new ideas.
The marketplace is a war zone. Every business has competitors, and successful owners know that they have to fight and claw to win market share and retain it.
Therefore, developing a warrior mentality is critical. This mentality has allowed them to succeed and survive in the first place. However, successful business owners know that past success is no promise of future success.
And the only way to remain successful is to maintain their warrior mentality, always looking for new opportunities to grow their business. But this fighting mentality isn't about being reckless or careless.
It's about having the courage to make tough decisions, even when they may not always work out. It's about being relentless in pursuing your goals and always being willing to adapt and change course when necessary.
For example, a new competitor arrives in your market. To protect what you have built, you must be outsmarting them at every turn. If they are undercutting your prices, you need to be prepared to build a strategy around it.
If they are out-marketing you, you need to up your game and find new ways to reach your target market. The key is always to be one step ahead, anticipate their next move, and be prepared to counter it.
And this is the warrior mentality. And it's one that all successful business owners have adopted. They know that they have to be willing to fight for them to win. Are you ready to do the same?
If not, you may find yourself at a disadvantage when competing against those who are. So ask yourself, do you have what it takes to develop a warrior mentality? The answer may determine your success or failure in the marketplace.
Understanding How Business Itself Works
Of course, understanding your industry is a must. However, to become successful, you need to learn how the business itself works. That means getting familiar with the different aspects of business like business operations, sales, marketing, fulfillment and more.
Also, business owners must understand how these aspects impact each other to make the necessary changes to ensure that their businesses run smoothly.
For example, if you're not familiar with business law, then you could end up inadvertently breaking the law and facing severe consequences. Similarly, if you don't understand how finances work, you could find yourself in a difficult financial situation.
In a nutshell, if you don't have a good idea of how businesses work, it will put you and your company at a disadvantage. So, make sure that you take the time to learn about all aspects of the business. It'll be well worth your while in the long run.
One of the best ways to learn about how businesses work is to read business books. There are many great business books out there that can teach you a lot about the different aspects of the business.
A successful business isn't about one thing; it's about many things done well, from good leadership to understanding how a business works. The most important thing is to have a clear vision of what you want your business to achieve and the dedication to see it through.
If you want to start or grow your business, be sure to focus on all of the elements we've talked about today. And if you need help getting started, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We're a digital marketing agency based in Los Angeles. We know what it takes to make a business successful, and we would love to share our knowledge with you. So give our digital marketing firm a call today!